Squire Patton Boggs is pleased to announce that the Honorable Cole A. Wist, a two-term former member of the Colorado House of Representatives and Assistant Minority Leader, has re-joined the firm as of counsel in the Environmental, Safety & Health Practice, based in Denver.
With a nearly three decades-long career in the public and private sectors, Mr. Wist combines his public policy expertise with workplace safety and health and industrial crisis management, labor and employment, and complex litigation. He has counseled clients in regulatory and tort matters following disasters in a wide variety of industries, including construction sites, surface and underground mines, cement plants, pipelines, electrical generation facilities, smelters and chemical plants. Mr. Wist has litigated numerous product liability and toxic tort cases to verdict.
“I have known Cole for the better part of 20 years, and can attest that his background and expertise are exactly the right fit to broaden our capabilities across a number of disciplines, namely our public policy, workplace safety and health, and litigation and state attorneys general practices,” said Peter S. Gould, managing partner of the Denver office. “Through his legal and political work, Cole has cultivated a reputation of high character, integrity and bipartisanship, resulting in many relationships in the business community and across the political spectrum. We are thrilled to welcome Cole back to our firm.”
Mr. Wist handles regulatory enforcement matters for clients before federal agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Chemical Safety Board. Mr. Wist frequently advises and trains employers regarding inspection strategies, liability prevention and crisis management. His experience also includes representation of clients on retaliation and whistleblower claims.
From 2016 to 2019, Mr. Wist served two terms as a State Representative and Assistant Minority Leader in the Colorado House of Representatives. Over the course of his legislative career, Mr. Wist earned a reputation as a productive, bipartisan lawmaker who was not afraid to take on tough issues. During his 11-year tenure at Squire Patton Boggs, Mr. Wist was resident in the Denver office where he led the office’s Litigation Practice. He also spent some time in the private sector at two other AmLaw 200 firms, where he held leadership positions.
“Cole’s deep relationships and sophistication in addressing complex policy, health and safety, and litigation matters – on both a state and national level – will greatly enhance our offerings to clients,” said Karen A. Winters, leader of the Environmental, Safety and Health Practice.
An active community participant, Mr. Wist has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Colorado Mesa University, the Governor’s Task Force on Civil Justice Reform and the Dean’s Advisory Board for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for the University of Denver. Mr. Wist has also represented Colorado as a Commissioner on the influential Uniform Law Commission, which provides states with non-partisan, well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law. His commitment and efforts have been recognized by organizations including Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Colorado Civil Justice League, and Mental Health America.
“Squire Patton Boggs will always be home to me. From its unparalleled global network to diverse practice groups with vast resources, as well as collegial culture, Squire Patton Boggs checked all the boxes when I decided to transition back to the private sector,” said Mr. Wist. “I look forward to connecting with my colleagues – old and new – and being part of this highly talented team of lawyers.”